Uusiteknologia 2/2020 magazine published

Uusiteknologia.fi is a Finnish language electronics and technology professionals magazine published on-line.

In the newest issue have written articles on many high tech topics (text in Finnish with short introduction in English). Newest issue Uusiteknologia 2/2020 has just been published.

I have written two articles to the newest issue.

The front page article is about More CPU power from desktop to embedded systems. The PC processor market is undergoing a drastic change, with challenger company AMD wedging to threaten Intel’s traditional leadership. In addition, Apple and Microsoft are bringing more widely ARM-based processors as processors for PCs and even card servers. The market for personal computers has been downward going for a couple of years now, while developments in the industry have focused on the implementation of new, more efficient mobile chips. New laptops and servers have now restored faith in the PC world and CPU sales are growing again. The most new has been offered by AMD, which has become an industry challenger and has snapped the market from Intel. In addition, rapidly evolving ARM processors are becoming more widespread in computers.
Link to article: https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2020/11/18/lisaa-sirutehoa-poytakoneista-sulautettuihin/

The other article Single pair of wires to new areas tells about Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). There is a desire to bring more Ethernet networks to industry and vehicles, but problems have been caused by traditional Ethernet solutions based on eight wires and an RJ-45 connector. Therefore, more suitable solutions have been developed to replace them, which are also based on a smaller number of conductors. The introduction of Ethernet in cars created the first one-megabyte and even one gigabit per second standard operating on a single pair of wires. And the development was not limited to vehicles and moving heavy machines, but the solution was also seen as suitable for a wider range of industrial automation, intelligent buildings and various IoT applications. However, solutions developed directly for cars were not suitable as they were optimized to operate over too short distances. Therefore, new versions of one pair of Ethernet were needed for new applications. This story goes through a wide range of all the new single-pair Ethernet standards and related technical details.
Link to article: https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2020/11/18/yhden-johdinparin-ethernet-liitanta-autoon-ja-tehtaaseen/


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Ethernet Standard Solves Range Limitation for Industrial Apps
    Sponsored by Texas Instruments: A relatively new Ethernet standard,10BASE-T1L, provides greater networking extensions to address industrial application needs. Now there’s an IC to implement the special single-pair UTP PHY.

    Robert Metcalfe, David Boggs, and their associates really started something back in 1973 when they invented Ethernet. It started out as just one of many contenders for LAN supremacy and essentially won the battle.

    Today, Ethernet is everywhere. It’s evolved from a 2.93-Mb/s and then 10-Mb/s coax-based technology to one that offers multiple standards using unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and fiber-optic cable with speeds over 100 Gb/s. Ethernet, standardized by the IEEE as “802.3,” now dominates the networking world. And the quest for more variations continues onward.

    Another recent addition has been Automotive Ethernet, called 802.3bw or 100BASE-T1, that adapts Ethernet to the hostile automotive environment with a single pair. One of the newer single-pair standards is 802.3cg or 10BASE-T1L. This single-pair UTP 10-Mb/s connection can reach to 1 km.

    In building automation, long reach is often needed for HVAC, fire safety, and equipment like elevators. That’s why in some industrial applications, older fieldbus standards like 4-to 20-mA HART and others are still widely employed. They can sustain connections well beyond the usual Ethernet standard reach.

    The Ethernet solution to this need is 10BASE-T1L, which uses a single UTP to cover up to 1000 meters. And with its ability to handle data rates to 10 Mb/s, it not only solves the range problem, but also lets industrial engineers increase their speed of communication. An added benefit is that it eliminates some protocol conversions, the need for gateways, and other adaptations that are often necessary in providing interoperability in an industrial setting.

    Another benefit is that the single-pair requirement allows for the use of existing cabling. Running new cables is a major cost and time issue. Almost any single pair can be used, possibly including some existing fieldbus cables.

    The standard has two parts. The main offering is 10BASE-T1L, or long reach to 1 km. The connection is point-to-point (p2p) with full-duplex capability. The other is 10BASE-T1S, or short-reach option that provides p2p half-duplex coverage to 25 meters. This version includes multidrop possibilities and uses the standard Ethernet CSDMA/CD contention access method.

    The PHY utilizes an unusual PAM3 4B3T line coding. The PAM3 means that there are three voltage levels to encode the data: a positive pulse, a negative pulse, and zero (e.g., + 0 -, – + 0, 0 + -, etc.). This is ternary code that, in effect, gives 33 = 27 combinations to represent 16 4-bit codes. These 16 codes are mapped to a three-symbol table. Not all of the three-symbol codes are used; for example, 000 isn’t included to avoid long strings to occur without a transition.

    7.5 MBd for a net 10-Mb/s data rate. No forward error correction (FEC) is used.

    The pulses at 2.4-V p2p permit the 1000-meter range. A 1-V p2p option is used for a range less than 200 meters. Full-duplex transmission is achieved with an echo-cancellation scheme.

    Implementing 10BASE-T1L

    While the 802.3cg standard was approved back in 2019, adoption activity has been minimal. It’s probably been due to the lack of appropriate IC transceivers to implement the PHY. However, one possibility is Texas Instruments’ DP83TD510E (see figure). This low-power 802.3cg PHY meets all of the standards’ rules and makes designing devices with this standard possible.

    This device uses 38 mW in the 1-V p2p mode and 82 mW in the 2.4-V p2p mode. And, of course, it’s compatible with multiple Ethernet MAC interfaces, including, MII, RMII master/slave mode, RGMII, plus other special RMII modes.


  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet-APL-kytkin prosessilaitoksiin

    Pepperl+Fuchsin FieldConnexin Ethernet-APL-kytkimessä yhdistyy Ethernet rinnakkaista tiedonsiirtoa varten sekä kaksijohdintekniikka prosessilaitosteollisuuden räjähdyssuojaukseen. Kun Ethernet-APL-standardointi on saatu päätökseen, teknologia tulee entistä laajemmin saataville.

    Teollisuuden Ethernet-APL parantaa verkkoviestintää tulevaisuudessa. Tämä kahdentoista tunnetun toimittajan tukema Ethernet-standardointi kaksijohtimiselle kaapelille mahdollistaa pitkät kaapelit, virransyötön ja räjähdyssuojauksen sekä luontaisen turvallisuuden olennaisina osina ratkaisua.


    The Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (APL) defines switched architecture. Cross talk between instruments is impossible, which enhances communication stability and has a long-lasting positive effect on availability. Learn more about the Ethernet-APL infrastructure on this page.

    2 wires 10 Mbit/s 92W

    Segment is the name for each connection between switches or between switches and instruments.
    Trunk is the long-reach cable between switches. It has high power and signal strength and can be up to 1000 m long.
    Spur is the connection cable for an instrument. It can be up to 200 m and has lower power and signal strength. Spurs can be selected as intrinsically safe.

    There are two types of switches to support the Ethernet-APL infrastructure and just three principle product concepts that enable any type of topology for the field of the process plant. The switches that connect to the Ethernet backbone support redundancy and resiliency concepts for high availability.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How single-pair Ethernet benefits IIoT architecture

    Single-pair Ethernet (SPE) provides an enabling platform that allows the migration from various legacy networks to one universal physical layer.

    The latest development in Ethernet data communications is extending its capabilities over single-pair cable. Single-pair Ethernet (SPE) allows legacy industrial networks to migrate to Ethernet network technology whilst delivering power and data to and from edge devices.

    SPE provides an enabling platform that allows the migration from various legacy networks to one universal physical layer. Industry 4.0 comes a step closer to being delivered through a single technology from the edge sensor, plant floor to the corporate desktop.

    SPE expands the resource of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) providing the accelerator for organizations to migrate to Ethernet based operational technology (OT), offering common communications protocols compatible with the information technology (IT) network. This expansion encompasses end-to-end solutions including, switches, valves, cables and sensors, which have been developed by numerous organizations collaborating to effect the changes necessary to harmonize OT and IT operations, on the most effective protocol.

    While Ethernet has gained share in the Industrial market and is available in a variety of forms, non-Ethernet protocols still prevail where application requirements are not yet met by Ethernet. This multiple protocol scenario continues to add cost and complexity to legacy environments, including the multiprotocol experienced installation and maintenance staff needed to service such diverse environments.

    As more manufacturing and industrial equipment and devices are connected, OT networks have become a composite of Ethernet and legacy Fieldbus protocols. In terms of new installed nodes, recent research concluded that industrial Ethernet had surpassed traditional fieldbuses for the first time in 2018, and this progress continues. Industrial Ethernet continues with a steady growth rate of 20% and now makes up 65% of the global market, an increase of 8%. Globally, Profinet is the largest industrial Ethernet network with 18% of the market followed closely by EtherNet/IP at 17%

    The initial single-pair IEEE standard 802.3cg-2019, was announced early in 2020, when device chips were launched to support SPE applications. The reduced number of pairs used for communication, allows for a reduction in cable and connector size, while the technology delivers both power and data to edge devices within a single connection. The IP20 SPE connector is a small format module with half the footprint of a RJ45 port which features positive latch engagement for secure connections. Integrated power and data eliminates the need for local batteries or power supplies, and saves on transformers and circuit protection, while improves installation time and simplifies maintenance.

    Compared with terminating 4-pair cable to TIA-568A/B standards, field terminating one-pair cable with the LC-style connector is fast and simple. Using common tools, a technician is able to perform an SPE termination in half the time taken for a 4-pair termination. It also utilizes 18 AWG cable offering lighter, smaller cables. The SPE connector termination will be less prone to error, minimizing rework. Given the decreased weight and size, more cable runs can be pulled together, simplifying implementation.

    The importance of data and power over SPE to remote devices cannot be overstated. The IEEE 802.3bu standard provides for remote dc power over the SPE connection, called Power over Data Line, or PoDL. PoDL is akin to the Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology for standard Ethernet, which is transforming smart building electrical and data communications infrastructure.

    A further positive attribute of SPE is the potential to reuse existing cable media. Many factories and plants have legacy single-pair twisted cable, that can possibly be reused as SPE cable media, subject to qualification. For instance, much RS-485 cable in use or redundant is 18 AWG gauge making it a viable alternative to new cable runs. The cables will need to be tested to ensure they meet electrical performance relative to the TIA-568.5 standard for 10BASE-T1L link transmission.

    Fast and friendly

    SPE provides increased bandwidth allowing higher data rates at the edge, with up to 10 Mbps transmission speeds up to 1,000 m. Consider that against legacy protocols based on RS-485, where the link speed is only 31.2kbps for the same 1,000m – that is 300 times faster.

    The convenience, cost and relative functionality of SPE provided low-cost access for either migration or incremental deployment of SPE within an industrial environment. The technology cost aligns with extending data capture capabilities out to multiple edge devices, where previous access was cost prohibitive.

    Expected early applications for SPE include connecting the following:

    Instrumentation devices for hazardous and less severe process automation environments.
    Skid and machine I/O blocks to the OT network .
    On-machine devices to an on-machine or cell area industrial network switch.
    Field sensors and actuators to industrial network switches point-to-point or via structured cable link channels, both with lengths up to 1km far exceeding the current 100m limit.
    Field devices connecting in a daisy-chain fashion with embedded 2-channel switches.
    Remote I/O modules to one another, the network switch, or to the controller.
    In-panel devices together over a single cable via the multi-drop topology (10BASE-T1S).

    Expansion of IIoT is dependent on cost-effective technology, coupled with inexpensive sensors to drive scale. High volume automation products are likely to change first, while specialized legacy protocol devices will take longer to replace. Once organizations understand the market advantage they can gain from SPE the implementation of associated devices will increase dramatically, which in turn will reduce complexity of the network as it converges on Ethernet.

    SPE is expected to be a key enabling technology for manufacturers and industrial plants to:

    Achieve a seamless network with visibility from cloud to edge.
    Increase bandwidth at the edge for implementing advanced diagnostics .
    Simplify edge networks by eliminating protocol translation gateways.
    Transform and simplify dc control power infrastructure.
    Improve cybersecurity by extending manufacturing IT defense-in-depth technologies.
    Connect miniaturized micro-IoT and otherwise constrained form factor devices.
    Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for the OT network.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Four tips for designing scalable IIoT networks

    Don’t get distracted by the promises of the latest so-called solutions for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Focus on these essential design principles while building a data network. Intelligent input/output modules and other tools can add flexibility.

    So your boss wants to take on an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) project, but you’re not sure what that means? Or maybe a pilot project is partway through and running into obstacles? In either case, don’t worry. Focus on one word: Scalability. Intelligent input/output (I/O) modules can help with scalable, flexible and secure IIoT designs.

    ONE: Take advantage of open technologies for IIoT

    During the same time that the telecommunications industry created the modern internet, the controls industry went through the fieldbus wars, taking years to accept open standards like Ethernet on the plant floor. Proprietary communications media and protocols have created complex networks of point-to-point connections between data consumers and data producers that are expensive to scale up.

    While this isn’t the only reason for the difference in the scale of consumer and enterprise information technology (IT) systems when compared to industrial networks, adopting efficient, vendor-neutral standards has been a benefit to scalability in those domains.

    Openness can benefit IIoT scalability in a number of ways:

    Open standards promote interoperability, which is fundamental to the concept of IIoT.
    Open system architectures reduce vendor compatibility as a design constraint, allowing engineers to optimize for performance, instead.
    Open technologies often reduce licensing costs, providing more funding for system expansion.

    Message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) is an example of an open IoT standard that is scalable and interoperable, especially when paired with Sparkplug B payloads. Many resources are available to learn about MQTT. Sparkplug B helps with data integration among sensors, devices, gateways and applications in an MQTT infrastructure.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:


    10BASE-T1L IEEE® Std 802.3cg-2019™ compliant
    Supports 1.0 V p-p & 2.4 V p-p transmit Levels
    Cable reach
    Up to 1700 meters with 1.0 V p-p transmit level
    Up to 1700 meters with 2.4 V p-p transmit level
    Low power consumption
    Low power consumption – single supply 80 mW typ
    Dual supply 1.0 V p-p: 77 mW typical
    Integrated switch with SPI interface
    10 Mbps full duplex
    16 MAC addresses supported for frame forwarding
    Supports OPEN Alliance 10BASE-T1x MACPHY SPI
    MDIO memory map accessible via SPI
    Supports high & low priority queues
    Total buffer memory of 28 kB shared between ports and host

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Yhden parikaapelin ethernet yleistyy

    Ethernetin eri variantit ovat yleisimpiä teollisuuslinkkien protokollia. Tähän asti ne ovat vaatineet 4 tai 8 johdinta, mutta nyt on yleistymässä SPE-linkki: kahden parikaapelin ethernet. Sillä on monia etuja aiempaan nähden, minkä takia tekniikka kiinnostaa monia.

    Eilen Avnet Abacus ja EBV Elektronik ilmoittivat tukevansa teollisuusasiakkaitaan tuomaan SPE-ratkaisut markkinoille. Sen lisäksi, että SPE mahdollistaa Ethernet-pakettien saumattoman virran kenttälaitteiden ja tehtaan yritystason laitteiden välillä parantaakseen prosessinhallintaa, tekniikka tarjoaa lisäetuja, kuten kevyempiä ja joustavampia kaapeleita. Niiden tilantarve ja kokoonpanokustannukset ovat pienemmät kuin perinteisissä laitteissa.

    SPE-linkki tukee datanopeuksia 10 megabitistä aina gigabittiin asti sekunnissa. Gigabitin linkki kantaa 40 metrin päähän, hitain linkki yltää aina 1000 metriin asti. Lisäksi se tukee PoDL-tekniikkaa eli kaapelia pitkin voidaan tuoda myös toimilaitteen vaatima virta.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet yltää nyt 1,7 kilometrin päähän

    Analog Devices on tuonut markkinoille täydellisen 10BASE-T1L Ethernet-ratkaisun, joka on suunniteltu rakennusautomaatioverkkoihin. Uusi ADIN2111 lisää pitkän ulottuvuuden Ethernet-liitettävyyden ohjaimiin, antureihin ja toimilaitteisiin, mikä tarjoaa oivalluksia tehokkaampaan ja kestävämpään kiinteistönhallintaan.

    Piiri on suunniteltu datan ketjuttamiseen linja- ja rengasverkoissa käyttämällä olemassa olevaa yhden kierretyn parikaapelin infraa rakennuksissa.

    Tämä IEEE 802.3cg -standardin mukainen ratkaisu mahdollistaa Ethernet-yhteyden yli 1,7 kilometriä kaapelointia, tukee soittojen redundanssia ja pehmeitä reaaliaikaisia protokollia, kuten Modbus/TCP, BACnet/IP ja KNX.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet yltää nyt 1,7 kilometrin päähän

    Analog Devices on tuonut markkinoille täydellisen 10BASE-T1L Ethernet-ratkaisun, joka on suunniteltu rakennusautomaatioverkkoihin. Uusi ADIN2111 lisää pitkän ulottuvuuden Ethernet-liitettävyyden ohjaimiin, antureihin ja toimilaitteisiin, mikä tarjoaa oivalluksia tehokkaampaan ja kestävämpään kiinteistönhallintaan.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet kulkee yhdessä parikaapelissa

    Ethernetin eri variantit ovat yleisimpiä teollisuuslinkkien protokollia. Tähän asti ne ovat vaatineet 4 tai 8 johdinta, mutta nyt on yleistymässä SPE-linkki: kahden parikaapelin ethernet. Sillä on monia etuja aiempaan nähden, minkä takia tekniikka kiinnostaa monia.

    Eilen Avnet Abacus ja EBV Elektronik ilmoittivat tukevansa teollisuusasiakkaitaan tuomaan SPE-ratkaisut markkinoille. Sen lisäksi, että SPE mahdollistaa Ethernet-pakettien saumattoman virran kenttälaitteiden ja tehtaan yritystason laitteiden välillä parantaakseen prosessinhallintaa, tekniikka tarjoaa lisäetuja, kuten kevyempiä ja joustavampia kaapeleita. Niiden tilantarve ja kokoonpanokustannukset ovat pienemmät kuin perinteisissä laitteissa.

    SPE-linkki tukee datanopeuksia 10 megabitistä aina gigabittiin asti sekunnissa. Gigabitin linkki kantaa 40 metrin päähän, hitain linkki yltää aina 1000 metriin asti. Lisäksi se tukee PoDL-tekniikkaa eli kaapelia pitkin voidaan tuoda myös toimilaitteen vaatima virta.

    SPE-linkit lupaavat mullistaa Teollisuus 4.0 -ja IoT-toteutukset, koska sen avulla ethernet voidaan tuoda anturin ja pilvin liitäntätekniikaksi.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Broadcom Delivers World’s First 50G Automotive Ethernet Switch

    Industry’s highest bandwidth switch solution enables efficient zonal and central compute platforms and accelerates adoption of software defined vehicles

    SAN JOSE, Calif., May 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) today announced it has delivered its high bandwidth monolithic automotive Ethernet switch device, the BCM8958X, designed to address the growing bandwidth need for in-vehicle networking applications and facilitate the adoption of software defined vehicles (SDV). The BCM8958X features 16 Ethernet ports of which up to six are 10 Gbps capable, as well as integrated 1000BASE-T1 and 100BASE-T1 PHYs, providing greater flexibility and switching capacity needed to support automotive zonal electronic control unit (ECU) and central compute ECU architectures. Additionally, this switch is equipped with an advanced rule-based packet filter engine that can adapt to different vehicle operation modes to enhance driving safety.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Uutuusmoduuli teollisuus-ethernetin laiteliitännän toteuttamiseen

    Saksalaisen Softing Industrial Automationin laitteistomoduuli commModule APL on suunniteltu auttamaan laitevalmistajia prosessiteollisuuden fyysisen kerroksen Ethernet-APL-kenttälaitteiden toteuttamisessa.

    Softingin Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet-APL) on prosessiteollisuuden liitäntästandardi, jota voidaan hyödyntää myös räjähdysvaarallisissa Ex-tiloissa. Softingin uusi CommModule APL on valmiiksi sertifioitu kenttälaitetoteutuksiin.

    Laitteistomoduuli tarjoaa suoraan Ethernet-APL-yhteyden ja sovellusohjelmiston, joka voidaan konfiguroida toteuttamaan kyseiseltä kenttälaitteelta vaadittu toiminnallisuus.

    Core Electronics for Ethernet-APL Field Devices
    Rapid Integration of Ethernet-APL Communication and Application into Field Devices

    commModule APL is a cost-effective hardware module for the implementation of Ethernet-APL field devices. It provides connectivity to Ethernet-APL as well as an application software that can be easily configured to implement the required behavior of the particular field device. Existing HART and Modbus devices can be migrated to Ethernet-APL even without the need to write a single line of code. All required mapping to the HART or Modbus commands can be defined using the commScripter tool.

    Fast and cost-effective implementation

    Small footprint for use in majority of process equipment
    Suited for automatic assembly on motherboard
    No need for a complex hardware development
    No stack porting, no application programming

    PROFINET protocol software according to PA profile 4.02 already onboard

    Implementation follows latest APL and PI specifications
    Run-time license for the software is already included

    Made for intrinsically safe hardware designs

    Potted and non-potted version for optimized ex design
    ATEX and IECEx approval for use in explosive environments

    Easy integration into HART and Modbus devices

    Script-controlled mapping of function block application to device specific HART or Modbus commands
    No need for C programming
    commScripter tool checks script and creates mapping table
    Off-the-shelf commModules are customized by downloading mapping table

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Single-Pair Ethernet Transforms Industrial Communications
    Oct. 7, 2022
    SPE is a game-changer for industries that need increased data throughput and Power over Ethernet (PoE) for advanced manufacturing.

    What you’ll learn:

    What is single-pair Ethernet?
    How single-pair Ethernet is changing manufacturing.
    Types of connectors for SPE.

    That said, the proliferation of Ethernet protocols in new application areas, including transportation (trains, self-driving cars, and airplanes), is the result of increased throughput that RJ45 can no longer handle.

    The automotive industry, for example, has adopted Ethernet to replace traditional controller area network (CAN) bus systems, and its technology enables higher data rates for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and infotainment systems. In this demanding application, single-pair Ethernet (SPE) can provide that required data rate over a cable similar to CAN designs, but it also offers increased speed and reliability.

    SPE features a pair of copper wires that can transmit data at speeds of up to 1 Gb/s over short distances while simultaneously delivering Power over Data Line (PoDL). SPE supports up to 52 W of dc power and can cover a wide range of devices and systems, including factory automation and building automation. SPE takes its cue from Ethernet over twisted-pair technologies, which use twisted-pair cables for the physical layer of an Ethernet computer network.

    Two new variants of 10-Mb/s Ethernet over a single twisted pair, known as 10BASE-T1S and 10BASE-T1L, were later standardized in IEEE Std 802.3cg-2019 in 2019. 10BASE-T1S is ideal for the automotive industry and can benefit other short-distance applications where substantial electrical noise is present. 10BASE-T1L is a long-distance Ethernet that supports long-distance connections up to 1 km. Of course, both standards are quickly becoming utilized for the IoT.

    SPE also is referred to in the standards as “twisted pair,” meaning a single pair consists of a balanced pair of conductors, each carrying a different signal. The technology was designed to meet the needs of industrial manufacturers tasked with connecting low-speed devices, such as sensors, actuators, and relays, along with access control and lighting applications. Coupled with connected factories and the rising trend for adopting Ethernet into Industry 4.0 means Ethernet over single twisted pair is a lead contender for the future of industrial communication applications.

    SPE Technologies

    Traditional 1-Gb/s Ethernet uses a Cat 5 cable with four pairs of wires and operates at frequencies up to 100 MHz. Each pair can send and receive data, enabling transmission rates up to 1 Gb/s. SPE uses just one pair of wires but operates at frequencies up to 600 MHz. In this wide frequency band, some frequencies send data, and others receive data, allowing for 1-Gb/s transmission speeds with a pair of wires.

    Although traditional Ethernet has been utilized all along the automation ecosystem, devices at the lowest or field levels are still often controlled by fieldbus protocols. SPE offers an Ethernet solution that can be implemented at all levels, eliminating the need for gateways and other hardware required for various networks to “talk” to each other.

    Smaller cables translate to smaller connectors, providing the added benefit of using SPE in space-constrained applications or those with numerous, small devices at the field level. The smaller bend radius of a thinner cable makes installation, routing, and management less cumbersome and more flexible.

    The IEEE 802.3cg working group is pushing forward to bring the aforementioned SPE variants to fruition for industrial applications—10BASE-TIS with a range of 15 m, and 10BASE-T1L that will push the range to 1,000 m. To take advantage of that extended range, the attenuation must be lowered by operating at a lower frequency. For example, the T1L uses a 20-MHz transceiver, while the T1S is outfitted with a 200-MHz version. Both will come equipped with PoDL capabilities.

    Cultivating Connectors

    As with any new technology, a new ecosystem of daughterboards, power adapters, cables, and connectors (see figure) will need to be developed for implementation in an industrial setting. To that end, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has settled on two 10BASE-T1 connector designs that can handle the harsh environments often found in industrial settings. The first is based on a CommScope design suited for automation applications, while the other is taken from Harting and geared for industrial applications.

    The Harting T1, for example, features a standardized mating face with two contacts that adhere to the IEC 63171-6 standard, can handle 1000 mating cycles, and offers an IP20 protection rating. It accepts Ethernet speeds between 10 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s, has a current rating of 4 A at 60°C and 1.5 A at 85°C, and operates in the −40 to +85°C temperature range. The T1 also provides standardized SPE communication networks with standardized cabling, according to ISO/IEC 11801 and TIA 42.

    Manufacturers such as TE Connectivity are already producing SPE connectors that can handle the wide temperature and voltage ranges for industrial equipment as well as the shock and vibration encountered in these settings. These include barrel connectors to keep cables secure and shielded against unwanted signals and electrical noise. The internal shielding also helps to avoid the deterioration of data transmission by higher harmonics from the power transmission, like that from switch-mode power supplies.

    The prospect of retrofitting existing facilities also needs to be considered, as many current manufacturers still rely on terminal block-style connections to drive actuators, valves, switches, and other mechanical devices. Utilizing SPE in these situations also is beneficial due to the reduced the number of cables, leading to greater efficiency in data transmissions, power handling, and reduced outside interference.


    Single-pair Ethernet is on track to become the default network architecture of choice for provisioning resilient, robust, and reliable connectivity to the industrial automation endpoint. It’s also positioned to be an ideal solution for IIoT applications, as many field-level devices require power and fast, real-time communication to higher-level controls or the cloud.

    Will it bring an end to the RJ45 infrastructure still found in manufacturing plants? Probably not


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